All chefs should be able to prepare and work
with a variety of dough including flaky and mealy pie dough. These dough
are certainly not retained for exclusive use in the bakery. They are used
as components in such savory dishes as cheese straws or pot pies.
Cookies, including shortbread are important
elements in many of the more elaborate plated desserts and cakes you might
want to offer on your menu. You may want to use them to decorate cakes you
purchased from elsewhere, if you do not make the majority of your own
desserts. This is one way to make sure that your dessert menu is not
exactly the same as the restaurant down the street.
Basic Pie Dough
Basic pie dough is often called 3-2-1 dough,
because it is composed of three parts flour, two parts fat and one part
water (by weight). When properly made, the crust is flaky and crisp. Pie
dough may be referred to as either "flaky" or "mealy". The difference has
to do with how the fat or shortening is incorporated into the flour. When
the shortening is allowed to remain in large pieces, the finished pie
dough will separate easily into layers, hence the descriptive term, flaky.
When the fat is worked more thoroughly into the flour, the result will be
a pie crust with a very small flake. It will be more similar to shortbread
or cookie dough, with short fine grain referred to as mealy.